Thursday, July 21, 2011


A Guatemalan grandma got a sinking feeling when she discovered the earth had cracked open and left a 40-foot hole beneath her bed.
Inocenta Hernandez, 65, discovered the sinkhole late Monday after a loud explosion sent her family scrambling out of their home just north of Guatemala City.
"When we heard the loud boom, we thought a gas canister from a neighboring home had exploded, or there had been a crash on the street," Hernandez told Agence France-Presse.
"We rushed out to look and saw nothing. A gentleman told me that the noise came from my house, and we searched until we found it under my bed," the shaken granny said.
Investigators guessed the hole measured 40 feet deep and more than 2-and-a-half feet in diameter.
Hernandez said she was relieved when she realized no one had fallen in.
"Thank God there are only material damages because my grandchildren were running around the house into that room and out to the patio," she said.
The bedroom breach was a mere pothole compared to a 330-foot sinkhole that opened in 2007, swallowing several homes and a truck, and killing three people.
Another nearby hole in 2010 toppled a three-story building and a house.
Sinkholes are formed by the gradual process of erosion and can often open suddenly.
Guatemala City is especially prone to sinkholes because heavy rains and a leaky sewer system have eroded volcanic deposits below the city.